Diamond Bar blows late lead: Timmy Robinson hit a two-run homer in the seventh inning and the visiting Ocean View Seahawks rallied for a 4-3 victory over the Brahmas in a Division 3 wild-card game Tuesday.
By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
Thanks to its biggest scoring outburst of the season, the St. Lucy’s High School softball team doesn’t have to dwell over its near collapse in Tuesday’s CIF-Southern Section playoff game.
When you win, everything is forgiven.
Visiting Fillmore scored five runs in the seventh and sent the tying runner to the plate, but St. Lucy’s pitcher Danielle O’Toole got a strikeout to end the game and St. Lucy’s held on for an 11-9 victory in a Division 3 wild-card game. (To continue, click thread).
Today’s predictions: Damien, South Hills and Diamond Bar should all advance to the first round, but that’s it. Northview has a chance at home, but don’t see Walnut, Baldwin Park, Nogales or any of the teams in Division 5 winning with the exception of the El Monte-Gladstone game, someone has to move on, probably Gladstone. In softball, Glendora will go down at Valencia, but I like St. Lucy’s and Los Altos to move on and possibly Covina. As for everyone else, it’s one and done I’m afraid.
Today’s wild card results
Damien 3, Redondo Union 1
South Hills 10, Rancho Verde 1
Ocean View 4, Diamond Bar 3
Walnut at Knight, 3:15 p.m.
Grace Brethren 3, Northview 0
Bishop Montgomery 2, Baldwin Park 0
Nogales at Santa Ana Calvary Chapel, 3:15 p.m.
Gladstone 13, El Monte 1
Duarte 11, Rubidoux 6
Paraclete 2, Azusa 1 (9)
Mountain View at Linfield Christian, 3:15 p.m.
Today’s wild-card results
Glendora at Placentia Valencia, postponed Wednesday
Los Altos 2, Rancho Verde 0
St. Lucy’s 11, Fillmore 0
Nogales at Culver City, 3:15 p.m.
Coachella Valley at Covina, 3:15 p.m.
Sierra Vista at Ramona Convent, 3:15 p.m.
Rosemead at Hemet, 3:15 p.m.
La Puente at Lompoc Cabrillo, 3:15 p.m.
St. Lucy’s committed two errors in the seventh and four errors in the game, but the Regents scored five runs with two outs in the fifth, getting six straight hits to take a 10-4 lead, which was the difference.
St. Lucy’s (14-12) advances to Thursday’s first round at Pacific League champion Burbank Burroughs (19-7).
“We came a little bit undone, but we pulled it back together,” O’Toole said.
St. Lucy’s coach Ryan Nuveman said nerves might have played a part.
“We’ve never had a six or seven run lead this year,” Nuveman said. “Our offensive surge might have caused some relaxation on the part of our defense. We haven’t had a (big lead) and didn’t know how to act. But it was encouraging to score a lot of runs and we’re thrilled to have a win and be moving on.”
St. Lucy’s third baseman Brandi Harkness was 3-for-3 with three RBIs and two runs scored. O’Toole doubled in two runs and Laura Swan had two hits, including an RBI double in the seventh.
In all, the Regents had 13 hits, which is normally more than enough for O’Toole, who finished with 10 strikeouts, but seven of Fillmore’s nine runs were unearned.
“The defense looked like this was their first chance at a playoff win in a few years,” Nuveman explained. “We looked too tight to me. Some of the plays were the type right at us and we muff it left or we muff it right.
“Don’t get me wrong, they hit a lot of hard balls and some of the shots we dove for. But we have to do better, we didn’t look comfortable, and maybe it was just because we had a big lead, but we have to do better.”
It was St. Lucy’s sixth win in its last seven games, and O’Toole is throwing the best she has since recovering from elbow tendinitis midway through the year.
“I’m feeling stronger and throwing a little quicker,” O’Toole said. “I came back after four months without playing ball. But the more I play and pitch the better I feel.”
Harkness’ single in the first drove in two runs and Swan’s single drove in another to stake the Regents to a 3-0 lead in the third.
After Fillmore’s Olivia Alcozar doubled, Maritza Mesa doubled her home to trim the Regents’ lead to 3-1.
After Fillmore scored three runs in the fifth to take a 4-3 lead, St. Lucy’s answered with seven runs in the bottom half to go up 10-4.
Brianna Gomez, O’Toole, Cassandra Valizan, Caroline Smith, Jasmine Sosa and Danielle Mavridis all came up with two-out hits to keep the rally going for the Regents, who added a run in the sixth.
“It was great to see us hit the ball hard,” Nuveman said. “You saw it, we (sprayed) it all over. That was our best scoring game of the season, and it’s always encouraging when you can do it in a playoff game, so from that standpoint, I’m pretty pleased.”
OCEAN VIEW 4, DIAMOND BAR 3
By Steve Ramirez
DIAMOND BAR – There are no guarantees during the CIF- Southern Section baseball playoffs.
Not even when Diamond Bar High School’s Kenny Mathews, arguably the area’s best pitcher, is on the mound.
Timmy Robinson hit a two-run homer in the seventh inning and the visiting Ocean View Seahawks rallied for a 4-3 victory over the Brahmas in a Division 3 wild-card game Tuesday.
Ocean View improved to 17-10 and will play at Colton in Friday’s first round. Diamond Bar, getting two hits and an RBI from Victor Telles, finished 15-12.
Mathews, the Brahmas’ Mr. Reliable over the past three seasons, gave up nine hits and finished 5-5.
“Mathews has accomplished quite a bit,” Diamond Bar coach Eric Shibley said. “He’s made his name known due to what he’s accomplished the last two or three years.
“Yeah, we were confident, hoping with our ace on the mound that we could get through this one.
“He gave up a few hits before (the home run) and left one up to a decent hitter. If you look at his numbers, (Robinson) is a good hitter.”
Diamond Bar, the No. 3 team from the Hacienda League, looked like it was going to advance early on by leading 3-0 after five innings.
The Brahmas led 2-0 after two and scored on a throwing error in the first inning and on a double by Jeremy Duran in the second.
Diamond Bar pushed the advantage to 3-0 in the fifth on an RBI single from Telles.
But Ocean View,
which had seven hits during the final three innings, made it 3-2 in the sixth. Blake Walker and Robert Fogarty singled before advancing to second and third on a sacrifice.
Travis Sparks-Jackson then lined a single to left to score Walker. The ball skipped by left fielder Jason Kimsey for an error that scored Fogarty.
“That didn’t help any,” Shibley said. “In big games, you have to make big plays.
“Mechanics-wise, I told the kid he did exactly what you are supposed to do. It got over or under his glove, whatever the case may be. That’s tough.”
Mathews, who had five strikeouts, ended the threat by striking out Chad Hackworth and inducing Freddy Sepulveda to ground out.
He couldn’t, however, stop the Seahawks’ surge.
Luke Fell led off the seventh with a single to center. Robinson then worked the count to 2-0 before slugging Mathews’ next pitch for a home run and 4-3 lead.
Reliever Colton Johnson then struck out two batters in the bottom of the inning to win it.
“I give credit to (Ocean View),” Shibley said. “They came out, didn’t give up and swung the bat, and outhit us.”